Christian Movies: They’re getting better!
If you were a Christian during the Jesus Movement of the 1970’s you may have seen (some may say subjected to) films such as A Thief in the Night or The Mark of the Beast. The basic premise of these movies was to show us Christians banding together to stand against the Anti-Christ, predicted in the book of Revelations, as he rises to power. Although some may hold a nostalgic sentimentality for these “youth group movie night” favorites, they are largely derided now as the pinnacle in “End Times” cheesiness.
(I remember coming out of the movie A Distant Thunder as a 14 year old determined never to take “the mark of the Beast” even if it meant getting my head chopped off)
Even newer installments in Christian apocalyptic film making such as the Left Behind series showed that there was an untapped market for Christian films that did not star the Anti-Christ.
Anyhow, Tammy and I were flicking through the channels about 6 months ago and one of the Christian stations had taken a break from its marathon of talking heads to show a feature film called Hidden Secrets. It was starring John Schneider (Dukes of Hazzard & Smallville) as well as a number of other celebrities famous enough to know we had seen them before…we just couldn’t remember their names. The movie was surprisingly good centering on a number of friends coming back together after the suicide of their friend and youth pastor. The group has to deal with a number of their own issues during the process…think a Christian’s version of The Big Chill.
Afterwards I researched the production company that produced the movie which turned out to Pureflix, a Christian entertainment company and one of its founding partners David A.R. White. The son of a Christian pastor, White decided not to follow in his father’s footsteps and go into ministry but to up and move to Hollywood to become an actor. (Which resonated with me as I did the opposite in 1989 when I gave up moving to Hollywood to be an actor for going into ministry)
White has gone on now to produce, direct, write, and star in a number of Christian themed movies . On our trip to the States this last summer I bought a handful of these films on DVD including one we just watched this week called What If? starring Kevin Sorbo (Hercules) & Kristy Swanson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer). Its the classic story of an angel (played by John Ratzenberger) who shows a selfish man the life he could have had with a few better choices.
As parents with a teenager its a relief to watch a movie with a good story, acting, and humor that doesn’t, without warning, take a sudden turn into the gutter. So check out some of these movies…the more people that watch, the more a message is sent that there is a market for movies with a message.
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